Grow Pittsburgh is excited to welcome Jim and Rachel to our staff.

2016-02-10 16.31.17Rachel Brunner, Community Garden Coordinator

Rachel is new to Grow Pittsburgh and to Pittsburgh itself! She is the newest addition to the Community Gardens team.

What is your background?
My work has mainly been supporting and starting community gardens, supporting local food distribution programs, teaching outdoor and environmental education, and creating natural play spaces.

What about your role here makes you most excited?
I love working in community and creating beautiful spaces with residents that fills a void and provides a space for people to learn, create, eat, get to know one another, and work in the dirt. I’m very excited to learn about each community and support them in developing these spaces.

Why did you want to work for Grow Pittsburgh?
I really admired Grow Pittsburgh’s community outreach strategies through the garden programs and how intentional they are in incorporating social justice into their work. I was also really excited to work for an organization with so many awesome agricultural and organizational resources to learn from and to share with others.

Some fun facts about Rachel:
-She likes to keep her hands busy, whether it’s through pottery, carpentry, book making, knitting, or working in the dirt.
-She recently became an aunt!
-She has a 4-year-old Australian Shepherd named Olive.


2016-02-10 16.32.10-3Jim Rowell, High School Garden Educator

You may remember Farmer Jim from his time as an Edible Schoolyard Garden Educator. He’s back to work in the garden with high school students.

What is your background?
For the last seven months, I have been living and working in Mexico City: teaching English and learning Spanish. Before that, I was a Garden Educator here at Grow Pittsburgh for three years, working with the Environmental Charter School and Colfax K-8. I also have experience working with high school students at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and in New Orleans Recovery School District.

What about your role here makes you most excited?
I am excited that Grow Pittsburgh continues to grow in its reach and impact and I am excited to be part of the process as we expand our network of schools and school gardening programs. I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities that will be part of this new position.

Why did you want to return to Grow Pittsburgh?
Having worked with Grow Pittsburgh in the past, I knew I would find myself in a friendly and supportive work environment. What’s more, I’m moved by the organization’s mission and excited to work in a place that values social justice, equity, and food sovereignty.

Some fun facts about Jim:
-He practices zazen.
-He would like to learn el baile de la iguana.
-He has worked on a farm and been called Farmer Jim, but never at the same time.